If you have ever wanted to put a bunch of electronics into a box together, or make a custom control panel this instructable might help. I will show you how I mounted and wired electronics inside an electrical box as well as how I mounted buttons, switches, and connectors on the outside of the box.

All of this can be done with a simple outdoor electrical box from a hardware store. These are great because they have lots of thick yet soft plastic thats easy to work with and they come in many sizes. In this example I use a 8"x8"x4" box. 

You can do all of this with a standard dremel tool but a few other tools will make it easier... so here is a basic tool list. 

- Dremel or other rotary tool
- Spray adhesive (3m super 77 recommended, other glue could be used)
- Blue Painters tape (3m recommended)
- Metal or plastic stand-offs for mounting circuit boards
- Any electronic components for your project
- Any wires, sockets, or connectors needed for your project

- Drill Press (highly recommended)
- Files
- Printer (to print template)
- Gorilla Glue (good for some connectors that need to be glued)

All of this stuff should already be in your garage, if not you can find it all at the hardware store. 

I'm building a box to hold a fermentation controller for beer. Here is a video of the finished working box.

OK so lets get started. 

Step 1: Outside of the Enclosure

The first thing you should do is to lay out all of the electronics you want to put into the enclosure and all of the connectors and buttons you want to mount outside the enclosure in order to find the best layout and fit. 

I would recommend using calipers and Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape to measure then draw accurate pictures or templates of how your parts will be laid out. Spend time in the planning phase to avoid problems later in the building phase. The enclosure is pretty cheap but if you make a layout mistake you will have to start over. 

Here are some examples of my templates made with Illustrator and laying out the actual parts inside of the box. Remember to think about what devices will need to be connected and leave enough room for cables and connectors to fit. 
<p>Clever one!</p><p>If you want simple to 3D print, customisable box check out http://catchit.pl/blog/modular-3d-printed-case-diy-project/</p><p>There is a thingiverse link at the end of the post.</p>
<p>Your power supply has vents to dissipate heat, but your enclosure is roughly sealed. Is that going to be a problem? Any advice for enclosing power supplies in general?</p>
<p>That was exactly what I was going to comment about, You can make make small slits in two parallel sides with a Dremel so cold air can come in and hotter air can escape</p>
<p>Great work sir! Thanks for sharing.</p>
Very professional looking project. The only thing I would do is enclose that power outlet inside the refrigerator to keep on the safe side. Excellent work and thank you for posting!
Good Job! Beats what I've been doing and very straight forward.
I have used such enclosures for electronic projects for years. They are rugged, water tight (if you use the right gazintas/gazoutas) and relatively cheap. They also come in a range of sizes so you can usually find one to fit your project.<br><br>I also like to use lego bricks to make custom enclosures. Not water tight, and not as rugged as the one in your project, but you can make them really fit your project. The plastic is easy to drill and sometimes the lego adds to the styling of the final product. Clear bricks allow you to keep LEDs inside the unit but still visible. You can get 12&quot; square flat pieces to use as the bottom and then just use bricks as necessary to built the rest.
I use the spray adhesive on the cad template stuck directly on the box. Never had a problem peeling it off when done drilling and cutting. Don't suppose the tape hurts though, just an added step.
I have had issues with removing spray adhesive in the past. Its a pretty easy and cheap step to add the tape rather than try to remove sprayed on glue everywhere.
Not all spray adhesives are created equally. If this doesn't work for you then you're hopeless:<br> <br> <a rel="nofollow">3M Spray Mount Repositionable Adhesive</a><br> <br> But their 45 spray glue should be good enough for doing what you're doing. Just use it right.<br> <br> Also there is <a href="http://www.googone.com/" rel="nofollow">Goo Gone</a> for when you mess up.<br> <br> I don't even bother with the whole measure it, then draw it on the computer nonsense. I just do my layout on the project. The way everything got done before computers were so widespread.<br>
Great instructable. Even though I have the philosophy of never reinvent the wheel I sometimes forget where to look for premade things that can be cheap and easily modified<br><br>I too print my templates to go directly on my work but I print them to full page mailing label stock. I just peel and stick and never had a problem with residue.
I wish I had used this technique when I was building one of my laser light shows...<br>I did use an outdoor electrical box... but I completely failed to plan out the layout and mark where stuff was going... long story short... now I have it taken back apart and now I have a (mostly) useless box... (I might (if I get around to it) post some pictures of how bad I messed up...)

About This Instructable




Bio: I like to take things apart, sometimes they go back together sometimes they end up as something entirely different then where they started.
More by pcmofo:Papoy! Minion Unicorn Toy from Despicable Me Easy Change Floating Photo Wall Brett's Buffalo Chicken Dip v3.0 
Add instructable to: